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Update 12/1/22: Bask Bank Mileage Savings Accounts now offer 2 American AAdvantage® miles per $1 saved annually.
I’ve been a Texas Capital Bank, N.A. customer since July 2003 when I opened my BankDirect online checking account. Through BankDirect I’ve earned hundreds of thousands of American Airlines AAdvantage® miles.
Texas Capital Bank, N.A. has now launched Bask Bank offering online savings accounts that earn American Airlines AAdvantage® miles. Many of you will earn more miles saving than you will spending whether it’s spending money on a credit card or through an online shopping portal.
This is a great way to save money, a great way to earn miles, and there are lucrative bonuses for opening a no fee account and getting started now.
Screen shot, Bask Bank
Sign Up Is Free, Quick and Easy
I’ve already opened my own account. It’s free and quick and I’ve already seen miles post to my American Airlines AAdvantage® account. It was a no brainer for me since I’ve been a customer of the bank for over 16 years and it cost nothing to do it.
In fact it took me less than 5 minutes to get the account opened. There is no hard credit pull when opening the account. It has no fees. And there’s no cap on the account balance they’ll award miles for.
They’ll let you link an outside account and transfer money right away. There’s no commitment for how long you leave money in the account, though I’m going to suggest it’s valuable to deposit money and leave it there both for the ongoing earning and to earn some bonuses too.
Your money is FDIC insured. Bask Bank and BankDirect are divisions of Texas Capital Bank, N.A. The sum of your total deposits with Bask Bank, BankDirect, and Texas Capital Bank, N.A. are insured up to $250,000.
They’re not asking to be your main bank, or get you to move over your banking relationships – just to use them strategically to get the best deal possible.
1000 Fast Miles Without a Deposit
For a limited time Bask Bank is offering account holders 1000 miles just for completing online feedback within 60 days of opening an account. This offer requires you to open an account by April 30, 2020 and provide feedback by June 30, 2020, as well as provide your AAdvantage® account number within 60 days of opening your account.
I opened my account and hadn’t even funded it yet. I shared a sentence or two about the process, and 1000 miles hit my account within 48 hours. I was impressed. (They say it can take up to 10 business days.)
If nothing else, sign up with Bask Bank right now and give them feedback. The whole process takes minutes and you’ve got 1000 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles without spending money or even transferring money.
5000 More Easy Miles
Once you open an account though you’re going to want to transfer money into it. That’s because as long as you open an account by February 29, 2020 and provide your AAdvantage® account within 60 days of account opening then a $1000 deposit into the account held for 30 consecutive days within 60 days of account opening will earn another 5000 miles – that’s on top of the miles you earn from your account balance each month.
This is another good reason to open an account now, since the initial $1000 deposit bonus (for holding the balance for 30 consecutive days, within 60 days of account opening) drops to 1000 miles for accounts open March 1 – June 30, 2020.
And You’re Going To Want To Keep Earning
You earn 1 mile per dollar saved annually. If you have a $60,000 average balance in the account you’re going to earn 60,000 miles for the year. Mileage-earning is paid out monthly so that’s about 5000 miles per month (months with 31 days in them will earn a few miles more, months with fewer days will earn a bit less).
No Caps On Earning, They Even Bonus Big Balances
If you deposit large amounts into the savings account within 60 days of opening, and leave the money there for 360 days, you’re going to earn big bonuses in addition to the normal miles you earn for your average balances (and in addition to your account opening bonus where you can earn 5000 miles, and in addition to being able to earn 1000 more miles right now for giving feedback to the bank).
- Maintain a $25,000 balance for 360 days, earn 10,000 bonus miles. They’ll pay out 5000 miles after 180 days, and the other 5000 miles after 360 days.
- Maintain a $50,000 balance for 360 days, earn 20,000 bonus miles. They’ll pay out 10,000 miles after 180 days, and the other 10,000 miles after 360 days.
- Maintain a $100,000 balance for 360 days, earn 40,000 bonus miles. They’ll pay out 20,000 miles after 180 days, and the other 20,000 miles after 360 days.
Accounts must be opened by March 31, 2020 to be eligible. It’s possible to qualify for different bonus tiers if your deposit level changes. So you might qualify for the top tier over the course of the first 180 days, but if you withdraw funds during the second 180 days you might then qualify for a lower tier.
If you open an account now, deposit $100,000 miles in your account right away, and leave it there for 360 days (and give feedback to Bask Bank after opening, too) then after a year you’ll have earned 146,000 miles:
- 1000 for feedback
- 5000 for first month’s balance
- 100,000 miles based on your average balance
- 40,000 more miles for the 12 month bonus
That’s Enough Miles for A Business Class Award Ticket Almost Anywhere In The World
American’s partner award chart allows you to book business class awards roundtrip almost anywhere in the world for 140,000 miles (Africa is 150,000 miles roundtrip, South Pacific including Australia is 160,000 miles so you’re almost there, too).
You can travel to the Mideast, India, or even the Maldives flying Qatar Airways QSuites business class both ways for 140,000 miles.
Qatar Airways Business Class, credit: Qatar Airways
You can travel to Bali on Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong in business class both ways for 140,000 miles.
Cathay Pacific Business Class
As long as there’s saver award space available your savings account can take you almost anywhere you’d want to go in comfort.
How Much Are All These Miles Worth?
I’ve publicly valued AAdvantage® miles at 1.4 cents apiece. So I view earning one mile per dollar (without factoring all of these bonuses) as being like earning 1.4% on a savings account.
The week of December 9, 2019 the FDIC reported that the average rate on a savings account was 0.09%. I view Bask Bank, then, as being over 15 times better than that.
If you earned 146,000 miles, as in my example above, that would be worth $2044, or a 2.04% rate of return (which includes Bask Bank bonuses). That’s better than you’re going to do, even, with high yield savings accounts – which may even cap the amount of money they’ll pay out premium interest on.
And that’s before we even talk taxes.
- Bask Bank’s terms and conditions say “[m]iles are currently valued at 0.42 cents per mile, the equivalent of 0.42% annual percentage yield.” Assuming that doesn’t change over the next year, earning 10,000 miles would generate a 1099 tax reporting form showing a value of $42.
- If you value 10,000 miles at $140 as I do, and pay taxes on those miles at $42 with a hypothetical income tax rate of 32% you’re paying $13.44 in taxes and netting $126.56.
- Forget the average 0.09% that savings accounts pay, let’s assume you could earn 1.8% in a high yield savings account. That’s $180, on which a 32% tax rate would be $57.60, for a net of $122.40.
Bask Bank is coming out ahead of even high yield savings accounts in this example.
Bask Bank Wants Our Business
They tell me they’re “here for the life maximizers” and they know that people who play the miles and points game are “rational, affluent and successful.” We’re the customers they actually want, because we value frequent flyer miles. They don’t have to do a lot of convincing that they’re offering a useful value proposition. We already know what we can do with the points.